20 January 2010>
There are now 17 fewer off-road bikes being used in Bedwas, thanks to an innovative new scheme.
Officers from the Bedwas Neighbourhood Policing Team worked with the Van and Graig-y-Rhacca Communities First Partnerships as well as Halfords to provide local people with an opportunity to trade in their off-road bike, quad bike or trike in return for a mountain bike and accessories.
Everyone who surrendered their off-road vehicle received a mountain bike, helmet, cable and lock, bicycle lights, puncture repair kit, riding mitts, high visibility arm and leg bands, as well as a three year bike care plan – all for free.
Graig-y-Rhacca resident Nicola Allen, 25, traded in a mini-moto and a Yamaha off road bike, in return for bicycles for her two sons, five year old Daniel and six year old Travis Allen.
She said: "I think the scheme is a really good idea. My boys didn't really have anywhere to ride the mini moto or off-road bike, so they weren't really much use. Now that we've traded them in, they have got two nice mountain bikes and helmets. I can take them down the bicycle track now on their bikes, and they really enjoy it."
The scheme was open to residents in Lansbury Park and Graig-y-Rhacca during December 2009. It was also extended to cover the Llanbradach area. The illegal use of off-road bikes is an issue that residents often raise at the local PACT (Partnerships and Communities Together) meetings.
It is currently a PACT priority for the St. James ward, as well as the Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen ward.
The scheme was made possible thanks to funding received from the Government's Community Cashback scheme, which uses seized criminal assets to fund community projects, and Communities First.
Sergeant Gareth Jones, said: "Over the years, we have seized numerous bikes using our powers and issued warnings. This amnesty was another way of helping to get these bikes off the road. We are pleased that so many residents took part in the scheme, and we hope that by taking these off-road vehicles out of use, it will have a positive impact on the local community."
Wendy Griffin, Chair of the Van Communities First Partnership, said: "It's fantastic news that so many local people have taken part in this scheme. It has been a great opportunity for residents to get rid of off-road bikes that they didn't have anywhere to ride legally, in exchange for a mountain bike and accessories. We are pleased to have supported this scheme and hope that it will have long lasting benefits for the local community."
The next PACT meetings for the Bedwas area are as follows: -
- Llanbradach: Thursday 25th February, 7pm, Llanbradach Community Centre, Morgan Street
- St James: Tuesday 2nd March, 7pm, St James School
- Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen: Thursday 4th March, 7pm, Bedwas High School
Illegal off-road riding – The Facts
It is illegal to drive any mechanically propelled vehicle including mini bikes, quad bike, mini quads, scooters or any off-road motorbikes on a public road without insurance, road tax, driving certificate or MOT certificate, if appropriate.
Such vehicles can be driven off-road on a suitable land with the owner's permission, if it does not exceed noise nuisance levels.
It is illegal to drive such vehicles on streets and pavements, common land, moor land, forestry land, playing fields or in parks, as well as along footpaths, bridleways or byeways.
If you do not have the permission of the landowner or legal authority, you are committing offences under the Road Traffic Act 1998 and the Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000.
If you are caught riding illegally on public land, you could have your vehicle seized and destroyed.
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